(The following open letter was issued by the Hrant Dink Foundation, based in Istanbul, this past week.)
We could not understand the reason why the conference on “Social, Cultural and Economic History of Kayseri and the Region” that we were going to organize on October 18 and 19 at the Hrant Dink Foundation, Havak Hall has been banned.
As is known to all, the conference, which was initially planned to take place in Kayseri was banned due to the interference of the Kayseri Governorship.
Since 2008, the international conference series of the Foundation have contributed to a detailed understanding of the changing social, economic, politic and cultural structure of various cities of Turkey during the 19th and 20th century, and allowed the recent academic researches to be heard internationally. The series have set a precedent for its scientific approach and quality at international level. In the past years, the conference series were organized on Adana, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Van and Izmir. This year, we have chosen Kayseri province as the theme of the conference.
Our main aim was to highlight the multicultural and rich history of Kayseri with an international and prestigious conference and to share our detailed research and publication on the cultural heritage of Kayseri prepared in 2016 with the support of the European Union and the Ministry of EU Affairs (Turkey).
The international scientific committee of the conference has selected the papers of 27 scientists from various cities of Turkey as well as from the United States, France, Greece and Armenia and invited them to Kayseri to present their research during the conference to be held at a hotel on October 18-19, 2019. Moreover, a cultural heritage tour of Kayseri was planned to take place after the conference for the conference participants to witness the rich history of Kayseri first hand.